Sunday, 19 February 2012

Shoot For The Cure

This post is courtesy of one of my teammates. It was just before our "think pink" weekend where our basketball, hockey and volleyball teams played a couple home games and tried to raise as much money as we could for breast cancer. All the schools do it every year:

Shoot For The Cure

The minute I walked into the gym for the first time I had 15 new friends. That’s just the way it works on a team. I don’t get along with all of them all of the time, but we were brought together by something bigger than any one of us. Team. It’s just one of those things that binds people on a deeper level. It brings together people who might otherwise never be friends and shows them where they have common ground.

There are other things that connect us on a much bigger scale, things that, unlike my team, don’t give me warm feelings. Cancer. It’s touched every single person on my team. We’ve all been affected by it, but we’re not unusual. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, 487 people are diagnosed with some form of cancer on an average day.

As I write this I can’t help but think of the people who I’ve lost, and the pain I’ve seen others go through.Much like a team, the hardships faced when dealing with illness bind people together.

Over the course of the season every women’s basketball team in the league hosts Shoot for the Cure in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Forty-three teams thread pink laces through the eyes of their Pro-Models, pull pink socks up to their knees and tie their braids with pink elastics. We sell t-shirts and raffle tickets, we volunteer our time and cut our hair. We allow the pain that has brought us together to inspire us to be better. Last year, there was a cheque presented for $104,763 to the CBCF. Every dollar donated was a step towards research that could change people’s lives.

This year, we’re going all out. Our athletic therapist, and another girl on the team, are each cutting their hair and donating it to make wigs for cancer patients. Coach (whose hair isn’t quite long enough for a wig) is dying his pink. There are some awesome raffle prizes, 50/50 draws, and sweet pink VReds gear for sale. Oh yeah, and we also get to go head-to-head against our rivals who gave us two great games earlier this season. 

And why do we do this? Because, right now, someone is being told by their doctor that they have a long road ahead. We all do things we don’t want to do. We put our noses to the grindstone and we go to work, but some battles are bigger than others. Some battles can’t be fought alone. And those are the ones where a team becomes more than five, more than fifteen. Those are the ones where a team becomes a community. No one wants to watch a 40-point blowout, but right now cancer is kicking our butts. We wanted to come out that weekend and help us bring together our community in joy and celebration of life and in of the beauty of a fair battle.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Haven't updated on how my team's doing for a while. We have had an up and down season on the court this year and it's been super unpredictable. We are going in to this weekend with must win games because we are tied for the last playoff spot (because the hosting team gets in automatically). That team we are tied with is who we play this weekend twice and again later in two weeks. We have a team that has proven capable of beating the first place team in the league...but then we have a team that has lost to a team in last place. Like I said, unpredictable what is going to happen this weekend. And it will decide if we will be playing through March or not.
On another note. I actually haven't even got to  play since preseason. I have been sick I guess you could say. I hopefully will be able to get my eligibility back for this year (not wasting a year not playing at all)...and hoping to be back on the team next year to start playing..

Monday, 6 February 2012

Super Bowl

Once again the Patriots have lost to the Giants after leading in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. Super disapointing, that game meant so much:

By Nate Davis, USA TODAY

Indianapolis - The New England Patriots were hoping to end their season with a Hail Myra. But their alst-grasp Hail Mary to end Super Bowl XLVI proved a microcosm of a game that didn't go their way.

Wes Welker shows his frustration at missing a key catch in the closing minutes of the Patriots' 21-17 loss.

Trailing the New York Giants 21-17 with five seconds to go, quarterback Tom Brady heaved the ball more than half the length of the field into the end zone where it was batted by several players including defenders Jacquian Williams and Kenny Phillips and Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, playing on an injured ankle, dived for the carom, but it landed untouched. Ball game.
"It was a jump-ball play. Aaron did a good job," Gronkowski said. "We almost had it.
"I was close, but that doesn't matter at all. We didn't get it."

The play hardly registered as a mistake by New England, though it did rank among their missed opportunities in a game where the Patriots also made their share of errors.
In the two drives bridging the second and third quarters, Brady was 15-for-15 for 152 yards and two TDs. The remainder of the night he was 12 of 26 for 124 yards while throwing a costly interception in the fourth quarter. He was called for intentional grounding from his end zone on the Patriots' first offensive snap, giving New York a 2-0 first-quarter lead.

Sure-handed Wes Welker caught seven of the eight balls thrown in his direction for 60 yards. The other one? He dropped it with four minutes to go and the Patriots up 17-15 with the Giants possessing just one timeout. If Welker, who led the NFL with 122 catches in 2011 snares it, New England potentially runs out the clock or puts the game out of reach with another score.
"Biggest moment of my life, and (I) don't come up with it," said Welker. "It's discouraging."
Despondent over feeling he'd cost his team the win, Welker also offered: "I've just got to make the play. It's a play I've made 1,000 times in practice and everything else."
Patriots defensive back Sterling Moore seemingly killed a first-quarter Giants drive by forcing Victor Cruz to fumble at New England's 9. But the play was negated by too many Patriots on the field. Cruz caught a 2-yard TD two plays later.

"We had an opportunity to put this team away, and we didn't do it," said Patriots wideout Deion Branch, who nearly had a spectacular grab down the sideline on the final drive but couldn't get both feet down.
"So many opportunities that we didn't capitalize on that they gave us."
Even New England's much-maligned defense was solid, even though the first-quarter safety kept it on the field for 19 of the game's first 20 plays. New York had the ball for more than 37 minutes. After surviving the opening Giants salvo, the Patriots merely bent most of the night before intentionally breaking at the end of an 88-yard drive by allowing Ahmad Bradshaw to score with 57 seconds left in order to get the ball back with a chance to win.

Gronkowski, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the AFC title game, wasn't much of a factor despite claming he was 100% after the game. After setting single-season records at his position in 2011 with 1,327 receiving yards and 17 TD catches, he was targeted just three times by Brady, catching two balls for 26 yards. He was not able to outmaneuver linebacker Chase Blackburn on Brady's interception at the Giants 8-yard line on the second play of the fourth period.
"He just made a good play," said Gronkowski. "He boxed me out pretty well."
Branch lamented his teammates' children having to endure the loss when they return to school Monday. He was even more downcast realizing the team couldn't give owner Robert Kraft his fourth Lombardi Trophy to cap a season that began with the death of his wife of 48 years, Myra, after a bout with cancer just before the lockout's resolution last July.
Said Branch: "The entire season was for her."